American Medical Response (AMR) is committed to injury prevention. With spring and summer weather, AMR wants to remind people to be aware of severe weather changes. Powerful spring storms can unleash some of nature’s most destructive forces — tornados and floods. In the event of severe weather, AMR suggests the following safety tips:
• If a tornado warning is issued for your area go to the basement or lowest level of your home and take shelter in an inner hallway or small inner room without windows, such as a closet or bathroom.
• In mobile homes and other portable structures, evacuate the structure even if it is equipped with tie-downs. Take shelter in a building with a strong foundation. If such a building isn’t available, take cover in a ditch or low-lying area a safe distance from the mobile home. Lie face down and cover your head and neck with your hands.
• If you are in a vehicle seek shelter immediately. Do not continue to drive and do not try to outrun a tornado. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can easily lift a vehicle into the air. Get out of the vehicle and take shelter in a nearby building or lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.
• No matter where you live always be aware of floods. Small creeks or streams and even low-lying ground can flood.
• Be aware, not all floods are the same. Some develop slowly over an extended period of time while others can happen in a matter of minutes without any visible signs of rain.
• Watch for signs of heavy clouds or rain. Avoid flood-prone areas such as drainage channels or canyons if these conditions exist.
• At any sign of flash flooding move to higher ground immediately. Do not wait for instruction to move.
• Do not enter moving water. Six inches of moving water can cause a person to fall.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause a loss of control of most passenger cars. A foot of water can cause most vehicles to float. Two feet of moving water can carry away most cars, including sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.
Have a way to receive weather warnings that will alert you whenever there is a severe weather threat. Specialized weather radios can receive severe weather bulletins and sound an alarm whenever severe weather is approaching. The radios broadcast severe weather watches and warnings directly from the National Weather Service. These radios can often be programmed for specific counties. Many local TV stations also offer weather alerts for mobile phones and email.